Fans Will Complain, Worry When They Stop
Itâ€™s already happened. Less than 10 percent of the way through the season and a Royals announcer went on the air to complain about people complaining.
The quote I saw attributed to Royals radio announcer – and sometimes TV announcer – Steve Physioc was, â€œIt doesnâ€™t help in todayâ€™s world of social media where everyone has an opinion.â€
To be 100 percent honest and upfront before we get going, Iâ€™ll admit I was watching the television broadcast watching Rex Hudler cross out pictures of himself driving a cardboard bus. So I did not hear this.
However, I did see the follow up tweet from Physioc where he said he stood by his quote.
Look, the Royals didnâ€™t just drop the first two games against Minnesota this weekend – they were destroyed in both games. Three of the top four hitters – Nori Aoki, Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler – were beyond bad. Both starting pitchers – Bruce Chen and James Shields – were embarrassingly bad.
So, one would think someone paid to discuss the game could/would actually comment on what was happening on the field, as the second inning Saturday should only be replayed at high speed with the Benny Hill music playing in the background.
To take time out of the ballgame to call out fans – in ANY way – is beyond stupid.
Are Royals fans typically pessimistic? Yes. Yes they are. Iâ€™ll admit to being quite pessimistic myself.
Hereâ€™s where that comes from. Iâ€™m 38 years old. In the last 29 years since the Royals made the playoffs, Iâ€™ve watched EVERY American League team make the playoffs – including an expansion team like the Rays.
Before last season the last time this team was above .500 was 2003. Lots of moves were made in the offseason. And the team fell on its face.
Fans have watched this team become a Jimmy Fallon punch line, thatâ€™s how bad itâ€™s been the last 29 years.
So youâ€™ll forgive fans for thinking this team should actually â€œCome to Playâ€ against a team they should beat like the Twins.
Now Steve, I donâ€™t know if youâ€™re reading this. I donâ€™t know if anyone with the Royals will be reading this. But just in case you are, Iâ€™m going to remain civil throughout this. Youâ€™re a hired gun, brought in to do a job. Technically your job is not to root. Itâ€™s hard not to when youâ€™re around the team daily, but you havenâ€™t been here long enough to truly experience what these fans have been through.
I have another tip for you. Fans complaining is the least of the Royals worries. Complaining means you care. Complaining means youâ€™re invested.
No, the minute people STOP having opinions about this team is when the Royals need to worry.
I know this whole â€œnew worldâ€ of Social Media is a little different from the days when people complained in strongly worded letters to the editor or phone calls or even e-mails.
But at the same time, thatâ€™s actually a good thing for teams. They are able to reach their fans in ways never before thought possible.
The Royals have a passionate fan base. And that should be celebrated. Because honestly, after the last 25 years or so, there should not be that much passion for the product that has been on the field during that time.
I donâ€™t want to turn this into an open letter to Physioc, because no one likes to read those and Iâ€™m not Jason Whitlock. But I will say, itâ€™s odd for a guy broadcasting a game on the radio to go after some of the very people who are listening to him and helping pay his salary.
If you donâ€™t think Royals fans care about this team, watch the numbers for 610 Sports during the months Royals games are on and the huge spike they get.
Fans are hungry for a winning team. Theyâ€™re hungry for the playoffs. Do some go over the line? Sure, they do. But they still care. They still show up. More importantly for guys like Physioc, they still listen to games on the radio and watch them on TV.
If Iâ€™m the Royals front office, I donâ€™t worry about people who complain. Sure, people want to cheer. I want to cheer. But to just blindly cheer and not criticize when things go wrong is blind loyalty at best, intellectually dishonest at worst.
Iâ€™ve said this before to so-called super fans and Iâ€™ll say it again – the best fans arenâ€™t the one who cheer everything and are positive and happy about everything. No one wants to be Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House. To paraphrase Animal House, â€œblind, dumb and ignorant is no way to go through life son.â€
Rather, the best fans are invested in the team. They know the strengths. They know the weaknesses. They know when things are good and they know when they are bad.
These first two games against Minnesota were beyond bad. And fans have the right to complain about it.
Donâ€™t worry when they boo Steve Physioc. Worry when they stop booing.
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